Abbado reinforces his reputation as a Mahler interpreter, guiding his orchestra through the composer's "Tragic" symphony. Little needs to be said about the quality of his Lucerne Festival Orchestra, who invariably respond admirably to Abbado. The final movement with its "hammer-blows of fate" is a truly moving experience.
Euroarts' production values are maintained in this recording; pictures and sound are excellent, as is direction.
I feel the DTS HD surround sound is somewhat less focused on this disc than on the others I have auditioned, almost putting the listener inside the orchestra and spreading the postioning of the instruments beyond the front speakers. This is not necessarily a criticism, as there may be a heightened sense of involvement with the music. Overall the sound is comparable with other blu-rays in this Mahler series, (I exclude Symphony no. 2 as reviews have deterred me from purchasing it), with a wide frequency and dynamic range. Mahler's heavy use of percussion is captured well; the engineer left headroom for the hammer blows, which are startling. Imagine a fairground 'try your strength' machine where you have to hit a target as hard as you can with a large wooden mallet. That roughly describes what happens here, the target being a wooden block that makes the dead sound that Mahler specified. But what a sound! The bass drum is also beautifully clear.
A winner, then, and my thanks to all involved in its production.
P.S. 29/04/2011 - see other reviews for the blu-ray version of the second symphony, now corrected and sounding magnificent. Well done Euroarts.